Marcia N. Macedo Ph.D.

  • Water Program Director
  • Associate Scientist
Marcia Macedo

Dr. Marcia Macedo takes a unique view of Amazon forests—seeing the forests for the streams. Her work explores how agricultural expansion and climate change is altering the flow of water through tropical landscapes, focusing on hotspots of connection between upland forests and aquatic systems, like streams and rivers. She links detailed, on-the-ground ecological understanding with large-scale, remote sensing data and statistical models to inform decisions about land use. For over fifteen years, Dr. Macedo has worked with agricultural producers in a research role, developing strong and productive relationships.

Dr. Marcia Macedo speaks to a group at COP25.

Dr. Macedo is passionate about communicating her science to diverse audiences. Through projects like The Climate Source, she helps translate research into relevant information for Indigenous people and government land managers and develop decision support tools and training. She has participated in Indigenous-focused events at U.N. climate meetings and is currently part of a U.N. working group addressing sustainable development in the Amazon region. Dr. Macedo is on the steering committee for the Faith Science Alliance for Climate Leadership, and was featured, alongside Jonah Gottlieb of the National Children’s Campaign, in the Our Future, Our Fight docuseries.

Dr. Macedo has Brazilian roots and feels strong cultural ties to the places she now studies. She has previously conducted research on tropical primates and served as a Program Officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Andes-Amazon Initiative, giving her a holistic perspective on her current work.

My grandparents are from the Amazon and parts of my childhood spent in Brazil sparked a connection to—and curiosity about—this incredible ecosystem. Doing field work is tied up with family visits, old friends, great food, and music I love. The more I learn, the more determined I am to find science-based solutions to the complex challenges facing this region.


Two human figures darkly silhouetted against an orange sunset

Woodwell Climate @ Tanguro Field Station

Probing tropical ecosystem dynamics at the world’s largest agricultural frontier

Selected Publications

State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health

Macedo, M. N., and L. Castello (2020). WWF Living Amazon Initiative.


Land-use-driven stream warming in southeastern Amazonia

Macedo, M. N., et al. (2013). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.